in Board Operations on September 28, 2012
How do boards navigate the icebergs in these troubled seas? Your management team should be an integral part in helping to make and deliver tough decisions. Whether we are cutting back doorman hours, reducing days of landscape maintenance or just creating a more aggressive approach to collecting assessments, it requires effective communication efforts in order to create an understanding and buy-in from the homeowners.
Our management teams have found that consistent and detailed communication with owners helps to retain a positive relationship, even in these toughest of times. Owners are more likely to look positively at the goings-on in their condo or cooperative if they understand the details of the issues the board is facing. As they say, true leaders show their worth during the hard times.
Additionally, homeowners can be much more receptive to cost-cutting measures if they understand the reasoning behind the decision. By engaging homeowners early in the decision-making process, you can effectively build an understanding consensus among co-op shareholders and condo unit-owners, which in turn leads to support and acceptance. Lay out the problems your board is facing, the choices you have before you and the reasoning behind the decision.
Of course, not every homeowner is willing to be engaged, and some might even disagree with your rationale. That's why it is good to be courteous and approachable in hearing feedback from homeowners, but also to have conviction in the decisions made by the board.
If you believe in the solutions you are enacting, your enthusiasm will spread to other homeowners and your decision will garner support.
This is adapted from the Community Association Management article "The Key to Effectively Communicating to Your HOA during Hard Times."
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